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‘One of the super-sets’, Brick Court Chambers is ‘an all-round strong’ set with ‘a large selection of high-quality competition law specialists’, ‘top commercial counsel’, ‘an excellent chambers for banking litigation’, and a ‘go-to’ set for public administrative law.
The Legal 500 2020
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The Legal 500 2020
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Access to documents in competition law proceedings


Case C-506/08 P Sweden v MyTravel (21 July 2011)

In an important judgment on access to European Commission documents in competition law proceedings, the ECJ has allowed an appeal against a judgment of the General Court. The Commission had refused MyTravel access to documents relating to the Airtours/First Choice merger and subsequent European Court proceedings.

When deciding to refer the case back to the General Court for further consideration, the ECJ held that the lower court had erred in law in refusing access to the whole of a Commission internal report, without considering the implications of the fact that the administrative procedure had been closed. The ECJ also held that the report of the Hearing Office, and note of a site visit, were opinions for internal use. However, it ruled that the General Court failed to verify whether disclosure would have seriously undermined the decision-making process even though the administrative procedure to which the documents related had been closed. The ECJ further ruled that the General Court's reasons for refusing access to a Commission legal service opinion were wrong in law, as they were based solely on general and abstract considerations. The ECJ stressed that openness in relation to such opinions contributes to conferring greater legitimacy on the institutions in the eyes of European citizens.

The judgment is here.

Jemima Stratford QC appeared for the United Kingdom.